Amalfi Coast, Destination Wedding - Jassmine & Jeff

One of my goals for 2017 was to photograph a destination wedding, so when Jassmine contacted me last year I think my head nearly went through the screen with excitement. Eventually, I want to predominately shoot destination weddings, so to have the Amalfi Coast as my first definitely sets me on the right track; & three of my weddings for 2018 are destination weddings! Anyway, enough about me...

I was very lucky that Jassmine is probably one of the most organised people ever, so complimented by me ALSO being organised we managed to sort everything out pretty quickly & smoothly. I know when booking a destination wedding some people think it would be too much hassle to book a photographer from here to fly over, but you still need to build a relationship with your photographer & that is certainly a lot easier if you are both in the same place. It’s also good to check all options rather than thinking it would be much more expensive to fly a photographer from here, cause in some cases, it isn’t. My point is, don't knock it until you ask all the questions. When people contact me regarding weddings abroad I am here to help as much as I can to find the best solution for you.

I still haven't got onto this amazing wedding have I?

RIGHT!

Jassmine & Jeff had visited the Amalfi Coast before so decided this needed to be the place to get married. Staying at the lovely La Margherita - Villa Giuseppina in Scala, they looked at venues in Ravello which is only a short walk away. However the venues in Ravello are super expensive - incredible, but expensive. For example Villa Cimbrone where Rob & I visited a few days after the wedding, & where Jassmine & Jeff looked for their day is very famous & only recently John Legend was flew in for a wedding there to sing the first dance - so you get the idea! So whilst the search for the perfect venue was happening, little did they know that it was under their feet all along. When the owner of Villa Giuseppina offered to have the wedding there, they fell in love with the idea of being somewhere which was family run, cosy, where everyone could stay & who would make them lots & lots of incredible food. So this is exactly what happened! For the ceremony, they were looking at two places in Scala. The first choice was a little church in the square & the second was the historical ruins - Ruderi della Basilica di Sant'Eustachio; & boy am I glad the second choice won!

As soon as Rob & I arrived the day before the wedding we checked into our B&B which was in the middle of both the hotel & the ruins. We met up with Jassmine, Jeff & the bridal party & walked to the ruins. Only around ten steps into the walk I realised how much of an experience the wedding was going to be as we were literally walking down tiny steps of a huge mountain. Imagine a tall cliff surrounded by incredible views, we were a little dot in that making our way along! I was concerned about the guests walking here but Jassmine informed me that some would be coming in what can only be described as golf buggies! You will see a hilarious picture below! Even donkeys delivered the beautiful flowers by Rosalinda Flowers....DONKEYS! I love how they picked somewhere they loved even though it could be tricky or ‘a mission’ as some would say, to get to; their guests loved it & it made the whole thing even more memorable. Remember - the day is for you two so do what you want! Another side note, having a destination wedding doesn't always mean that 'not everyone will come' as everyone Jassmine & Jeff invited came to this wedding! But then again, who would say no to the Amalfi Coast?

On the morning of the wedding Rob & I walked to the ruins to get some shots before anyone arrived, then back to Villa Giuseppina where I started the bridal prep. Rob headed on into the little town where the boys were getting ready in an apartment. (We certainly got fitter on this day!). It was just like any other wedding I have photographed here until I went onto the balcony & saw the most incredible views, like something from Jurassic Park, without the Dinosaurs! I did take a few moments standing here looking at the view feeling so incredibly thankful of my job & the wonderful place it had brought me too. I had a lovely morning with the girls & hanging the dress on the balcony (in everyone else's horror) but I knew it would make an amazing shot. Why hang it inside when you have views like that!? Once everyone was ready we started our ‘treck’ to the ceremony where the guys & guests had already set off to. The smoothness of all this was down to their amazing wedding planner Emma - Emma Events, who was also walking with us to the ceremony & who stayed all day making sure everything went to plan. I loved her! Walking through the archway to the ruins where all the guests (& Jeff) were waiting made me feel rather overwhemed as I can honestly say it was nothing short of EPIC, so goodness knows how they were feeling. The ceremony was beautiful, accompanied by a string quartet playing film scores & hymns. We went straight into doing the group photos on the side of the ruins with the stunning views behind & gradually guests started to make their way back to the hotel leaving Jassmine & Jeff behind for their photos. Once we spent a bit of time by the ruins we took a slow stroll back & stopped for photos along the way. It was so enjoyable & really well planned by us all, as it meant I wouldn’t have to take them away from their guests once back at the hotel. I’m also glad I had been going to the gym more than usual as the way back was mostly up hill, so you can imagine! 

We arrived back to the hotel with plenty of time for everyone to enjoy food & drinks in a relaxed environment around the pool admiring the volcano in the distance. What I loved about this hotel is the passion they were putting into this wedding, & I think that was down to the fact it’s family run & they really wanted to do it having met Jassmine & Jeff previously. The meal was served under a canopy with hanging tea-lights & had a very beachy feel ‘floating in the air’ above the pool. Rob, Emma & myself then took to the balcony for our meal, which was delicious & we even had a glass of wine. We then sat & watched the sky turn dark & the pretty lights of Ravello glow from the opposite side of the cliff. Rob & I looked at each other & couldn’t believe we were at work. It really was a fantastic feeling. But we did get back to work! The speeches were really lovely & even Jassmine said a few words which I have seen a couple of times from the bride now. Again, no rules! Just because it’s not tradition doesn’t mean you can’t not....

We then all headed back down to the pool for the cutting of the cake & first dance. I couldn’t believe it when it was time to go. I’d built myself up so much for this wedding it just went in a flash, but it honestly is something I will never forget. Rob & I then spent four more days exploring the Amalfi Coast & going to places we probably never would (including an unexpected  two hour bus journey to Positano), especially at that point in time as we were so busy with work. But this forced us to have a break & I am so thankful to Jassmine & Jeff for that & for trusting us to come all that way to be a part of their day. 

It will always hold a special place in my heart & I will be talking about it forever! I shall now let you admire their photographs & I can’t wait to see them published in a top wedding magazine next year... 

Oh, & thank YOU for reading. x

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  This is an iPhone image from the wedding planner as I was with Jassmine whilst this was happening!

This is an iPhone image from the wedding planner as I was with Jassmine whilst this was happening!

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I don't even know where to begin to say how much we LOVE our photos. A huge thank you to you and Rob for capturing so many amazing images (and memories) that we will cherish for a lifetime. I knew from the moment I contacted you that you were the right photographer for us, it really was meant to be. Your work is brilliant but also you have so much energy and enthusiasm for what you do that it's infectious and it's a joy to be photographed by you. I couldn't believe how many photographs you'd taken. It felt so effortless and quick during the wedding day, and we were back for drinks with our guests in no time, yet the results are like we spent hours setting each shot up, the sign of a true pro I guess! The only problem with our photographs is we have no idea where to start narrowing them down to select a few to print - we don't have enough wall space! I hope you and Rob enjoyed your time on the Amalfi Coast. It was a real pleasure getting to know you both and I hope it won't be the last time we work with you. I just need to find a good excuse for a photo shoot! ~ Jassmine & Jeff

Source: www.jessicaraphaelphotography.com